In a recent article in The Nation Newspaper, Government sources have revealed that Wealthy foreigners may be eligible to buy up to 1 Rai of land for strictly private personal use in Bangkok, Pattaya and other municipal zones marked out as “residential areas”, subject to several strict pre-conditions. This Government directive will come into effect for 5 Years as soon as it’s officially published in the “Royal Gazette” which is expected to be very soon. The intention of this Government directive is to pull in foreign investment and foreigners with special expertise into Thailand, and was first proposed by the Thai Interior Ministry back in May, 2022. Whereupon, the Thai Cabinet took several months to investigate and assess the viability of this proposal by listening to the opinions of concerned agencies and stakeholders, hence the delay.
The directive allows Wealthy foreign expats, retirees, digital nomads and those with special expertise who wish base themselves in Thailand to buy up to 1 Rai of land (maximum) provided that they can prove that they’ve invested at least 40 Million Thai Baht in Thailand and can maintain the investment for a minimum of 3 Years, starting from the day that they’ve first applied to purchase the said land and/or house.
In accordance with the draft proposal and soon to become official directive, the following list of investment options are deemed eligible for consideration:
- Bonds issued by the Thai Government, Bank of Thailand, Thai state-owned enterprises and the Thai Finance Ministry.
- Shares within Property Funds, Infrastructure Funds and Financial Institution Debt Rehabilitation Funds.
- Shares of Trusts for Investment in Property Developments.
- Shares of legal entities that receive and/or are eligible for Board of Investment (BOI) privileges.
When applying for permission to purchase said land and/or houses, foreigners must submit a formal application together with certificates of proof of their investments to the Director-General of the Land Department, who will verify, and then forward them onto the Interior Ministry for final approval on the understanding that the land cannot be used for immoral activities or actions which violate social and cultural norms.
If approved by the Interior Ministry, applicants (i.e. eligible foreigners) must inform their local land department within 60 Days, and if applicants choose to withdraw any of their eligible investment options this too must be done within 60 Days.
Perhaps more importantly, this draft proposal clearly specifies that this is a special “One-time Only” concession whereby applicants (i.e. eligible foreigners) can only buy 1 Rai of land once, and that this “One-time Only” limit is applicable, irrespective of whether or not eligible foreigners decide to sell part or all of the land in the future.